TikToker slams Airbnb host for renting former slave cabins
Several cottages that once housed slaves are now available for rent on Airbnb as chic luxury stays, sparking outrage on social media, including from a prominent TikToker.
Entertainment and civil rights attorney Wynton Yates, who uses the TikTok handle @lawyerwynton, specifically called out an Airbnb listing titled “The Panther Burn Cottage @ Belmont Plantation” in Greenville, Mississippi, which has since been taken down, Mic reported. for the first time.
“How is it acceptable in someone’s mind to rent that?” Yates asked on TikTok. “A place where human beings were kept as slaves.”
@lawyerwynton #airbnb that’s not correct. #history #civilrights #americanhistory ♬ Blade Runner 2049 – Synthwave Goose
Before it was taken down, the listing made no attempt to deny its history, outright stating that the cottage was once a slave quarters in the 1830s before serving as a sharecropper’s cabin and, ultimately, a doctor’s office.
Critics of the listing were also tone deaf in terms of acknowledging the historical significance of such a place, calling it “memorable” and “historic but elegant”.
Yates went on to point out that the luxurious state of the cottage today largely erases the basic conditions slaves would have had to endure. “Clawfoot tub, running water, tile, nice light fixtures, water, towels, chest of drawers,” he pointed out.
In contrast, slaves would have lived in the most basic quarters that often left them vulnerable to the elements and the spread of disease, an article on pre-war slavery by PBS states.
“Growing up, [my family] would take my siblings and cousins and me and put slave chains in our hands so we could feel the weight of steel that was put on the bodies of our ancestors to contain them,” said Yates to Mic. “To see someone blatantly mocking that just didn’t sit well with me.”
Mic found that the Bellmont Plantation slave quarters were also not an isolated case of former slave homes being marketed in this way on Airbnb. The publication found a small cottage on a Georgia plantation named after a former slave who lived there, a “historically renovated” slave quarter in New Orleans, and a restored and “haunted” former slave cottage in New Orleans, among others.
Yates suggested to Mic that former slave quarters would serve a more useful and historically sensitive purpose if they were commemorated as places where people could visit and reflect on the history of slavery, citing the Whitney Plantation at outside of New Orleans as an example.
Email to Lillian Dickerson